BMW Manufacturing Co. said it began assembling the third generation of its X5 sports activity vehicle Thursday.
The first of the new vehicles to roll off the assembly line was Mineral White and powered by a six-cylinder inline diesel engine with M Performance TwinPower Turbo technology, the Greer plant said, adding that it will be exported to a dealer in Eastern Europe.
“Since 1999, the X5 has been a significant contributor” to the plant’s global success, said BMW Manufacturing president Josef Kerscher.
“Our team will continue to build the next-generation X5 with the superior quality that our customers around the world have come to expect from South Carolina.”
The company said the new X5 will come with three engine variants — a 450-horsepower V8 gasoline engine, a 258-horsepower six-cylinder diesel and the 381-horsepower M Performance diesel.
BMW began manufacturing the X5 in 1999 and it has been successful far beyond the company’s original expectations, with more than 1.3 million assembled in the Upstate for 140 global markets since then.
The last of the second generation X5s, a Titanium Silver Metallic V8, will become part of the company’s historic car collection. Second-generation X5 models were produced between September 2006 and June 2013 and generated sales of 728,107 units, making it the top-selling model in the plant’s history.